Asante Kotoko may be hoping to pick victory in their first pre-season game in the 2021-2022 season when the face Al Hilal United Football Club from the United Arab Emirates.
The game kick starts on Thursday morning 08:30am Dubai time and 04:30am Ghana time at the Hamriyah Sports and Cultural Club, Al Hamriyah.
The Ghanaian side have traveled to Dubai for two weeks pre-season tour and the game against Al Hilal United comes as the first of the four games the club are expected to play before they come back to Ghana.
Kotoko first batch squad touched down in Dubai last Thursday before second and third batches arrived in the Asian country few days ago.
The Ghanaian giants travel with the squad mostly dominated by new signings after announcing deals for Maxwell Agyemang, Richmond Lamptey, Clinton Opoku, Samuel Boateng, Richard Boadu, Samuel Appiah, Isaac Oppong, Augustine Agyapong, Sheriff Mohammed, Joseph Amoako and Dickson Afoakwa.
The blend of old players and majority new talents are expected to negatively affect their field of play. However, with more almost a month of training together, they are expected to build something special of a team work in tomorrow’s game.
For Al Hilal United FC, they have already started their pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2021-2022 Emirate season. Their first pre-season game ended in a defeated in hands of Admirals Football Club last Wednesday 6th October, 2021. Al Hilal were beaten 2-4 at the same venue they are facing Asante Kotoko.
Ghanaian International Mawuyah Musah and Tah Ange scored for Al Hilal United FC.
Best scenes from Al Hilal’s first pre-season game against Admirals FC
Unlike Al Hilal who play its second game, Kotoko play their first game in the pre-season against the UAE side which the Ghanaian side use the match to assess their new signings.
While Al Hilal United play in the United Arab Emirates third tier (Emirati Second Division), Asante Kotoko play in Ghana’s first tier- Premier Division known as the Ghana Premier League.
Asante Kotoko is the most successful club in his football division lifting the Ghana Premier League title on 24 times and the African Champions League twice. Al Hilal best position in its division is finishing on top of Group A of 2020-2021 UAE Division Two league that was played in zones.
Last season only, Kotoko placed second in the Ghana Premier League after losing the title to rivals Hearts of Oak in later stages of the season whiles, after topping their zonal table/ Group A, they played in the play-offs in bid to qualify into second tier that’s is Division One of UAE football.
However, they were denied access after been beaten 9–0 by Abtal Al Khaleej to end their journey into Division One in United Arab Emirates.
Al Hilal United
Al-Hilal United FC was founded in 2019 in Al Lisaili, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and around February 2020, it was announced that Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ownership to the newly established club.
The club began their journey through competing in the UAE Second Division League, the third tier of Emirati football, during the 2019–20 season. They ended the following season on fifth position with 23 points in 17 matches.
In the 2020–21 UAE Division 2 season, they achieved success and qualified for the play-offs after finishing on top of Group A with 32 points in 14 matches.
Al Hilal United have a moderate squad currently working with approximately 22 players. Ahead of their new season (2021-2022), they appointed Belgian International Cederique Tulleners after their first pre-season defeat. The club announce their new boss on Sunday 10th October, 2021 on their Facebook.
Al-Hilal uses The Sevens Stadium in Dubai for their home games and it has a capacity of nearly 44,000 (temporary) spectators.
Kotoko like Hilal have had new coach heading into the pre-season. The Ghanaian side instilled Prosper Nartey Ogum as boss in September after sacking former Black Stars boss and Portuguese International Mariano Barreto.
Kotoko arrived in Dubia last week Thursday but there were a couple of players left behind in their first fly. However, those players; Razak Abelora, Richmond Lamptey, Joseph Amoako, Solomon Sarfo Taylor and recently signed from Ghana Premier League rivals Stephen Amankona joined their teammates later.
— Asante Kotoko SC (@AsanteKotoko_SC) October 9, 2021
Reports in Cameroon indicate that Kotoko have captured Mfegue Omgba and Mbella Etouga and the two Cameroonian Internationals are expected to join their new teammates this week.
Like in Al Hilal where they have no major injury worries, Kotoko boss Prosper Nartey Ogum also have a full house to choose his starting eleven against the Emirati’s side.
Al Hilal United Predicted XI: Still waiting
Asante Kotoko Predicted XI: Razak Abelora, Christopher Nettey, Abdul Ganiyu, Maxwell Agyemang, Imoro Ibrahim, Emmanuel Keyekeh, Mudasiru Salifu, Fabio Gama, Andy Kumi, Evans Adomako, Dickson Afoakwa.
The game will not be live on national television in Ghana or UAE. However, there are private sources to watch the game live. One of them is Kotoko’s entertainment sponsor Ceek.com and live streaming on YouTube may be possible.
Sources for the game
- YouTube (You can search on YouTube during match time)